Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Volunteer
Time Commitment: One full day per week (8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.) for a period of six months
Summary: Our rescuers rehabilitate endangered sea turtles. In the past decade alone, our rescuers have treated and released hundreds of Kemp’s ridley sea turtles as well as many green and loggerhead sea turtles. These numbers are especially significant considering the Kemp’s ridley is the most endangered sea turtle in the world.
Each fall, staff and volunteer walkers from the Massachusetts Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary comb dozens of miles of beach trying to find stranded sea turtles. The turtles are transported to the rescuers and veterinarians at the New England Aquarium with extreme hypothermia, severe dehydration, pneumonia, and often shell or bone fractures. While 2014 was a record-smashing year when 733 turtles were treated at the Animal Care Center in Quincy, on average we treat about 300 turtles each year. Their treatment can last between two and eight months, sometimes longer. Most of the sea turtles that arrive alive at the Aquarium recover and are released back into the ocean.
Responsibilities: A significant amount of cleaning is required in order to maintain the hospital environment. Additional responsibilities include following standard quarantine protocols, food prep, feeding, restraining animals for treatments and injections, monitoring behavior and health of animals, maintaining records including water quality, daily food intake, swim charts and treatment sheets.
- Previous (large) animal handling experience is recommended.
- Must be in good physical condition and able to lift 50 pounds.
- Must be able to perform significant cleaning tasks daily.
- Must be able to work independently and as part of a team.
- Must be at least 18 years of age.
This position is not located in Boston and is at our Animal Care Center located along the Fore River in Quincy. Transportation to this facility is easiest by car but one can also reach the facility by public transportation. Public transportation requires taking the Redline to Quincy Center, transferring to bus, and walking about 5 minutes.
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